Elder Tad R. Callister of the Quorum of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked students if their integrity had a price at Devotional on Tuesday. He encouraged students to become men and women of integrity.
“Choose the right, not because God demands it, but because integrity requires it,” Elder Callister said.
The majority of his talk was spent explaining seven principles of integrity.
The first principle is that integrity is a foundation of character.
“At the root of every virtue is integrity,” he said. “We cannot continue to acquire other Christlike attributes until we have made integrity our foundation.”
Second, integrity and legality are not necessarily the same.
“Integrity is not just doing that which is legal,” Elder Callister said, “but doing that which is moral or Christlike.”
This is more than simply being fair. One must also strive to be Christlike he said.
The third principle of integrity is that a person with integrity makes decisions based on eternal implications.
“It is not grades, but Godhood that is our eternal destination,” Elder Callister said.
He told the story of a young couple. The young wife asked her husband, “what do you think we will be doing 30 million years from now?”
He explained that a man of integrity focuses on his spiritual net worth rather than his temporal net worth. He also said becoming a person of integrity involves changing one’s thoughts as well as actions.
“It is not a temporary change of behavior,” he said. “It is a permanent change of nature.”
The fourth principle: Integrity is disclosing the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
He applied this specifically to the repentance process. There are no loopholes in the repentance process.
The fifth principle of integrity is that integrity “knows no alibis or excuses.”
Joseph Smith revealed many of his weaknesses in the Doctrine and Covenants. Elder Callister said this shows he was not perfect, but he had nothing to hide.
Integrity is keeping covenants and commitments even in times of inconvenience. This is the sixth principle of integrity.
“A man of integrity doesn’t succumb because it is hard or inconvenient,” Elder Callister said.
He also told a story of a man trying to finish a contract on a deadline.
“Tell them they have my word,” Elder Callister related. “It is better than a written contract. In a written contract I may find a loophole, but there is no loophole in my word.”
The last principle of integrity is that integrity is not dependent on the presence of others. It is internally, not externally driven.
“If it is wrong in the presence of others, it is wrong in their absence,” he said.
He told a story of a father driving home with his son in the back seat. They drove past a cornfield and the father thought it would be good to take some corn home to his family. He looked in front of him, behind him and to both sides before pulling over and getting out of the car to get some corn from the field. As he got out of the car his son reminded him: “Dad, you forgot to look up.”
Elder Callister ended by restating his desire for students to work for integrity.
“May we all become men and women of integrity, not because we have to, but because we want to,” he said.